Ceylon Finance Today: Sri Lanka's premier diversified blue chip corporate conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC will shortly go in for a US $ 445 million syndicated loan for its Glennie Street, Colombo 2 Waterfront Properties (Pvt) Ltd project, rewriting Sri Lanka's corporate history.
Waterfront Properties ( Pvt) Ltd which will be the JKH member company which will be handling the project, will have an integrated Resort will be a multi-faceted development consisting of a luxury hotel, convention centre, entertainment facilities, international standards shopping mall, luxury condominiums, serviced apartments and office space, billed to be completed in 2018/2019.
This will be the largest and the highest international borrowing that any Sri Lankan corporate entity would be raising from the international market of all time after national carrier SriLankan Airlines (US $ 150 million) and the National Development Bank (125 million) raised syndicated loans earlier this year. Reports indicate that no Sri Lankan corporate has raised over US $ 200 million.
The previous highest international funding which has been raised, has been US $ 336 million in 2007 which has been offered by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for greater Colombo economic development water supply and sanitation and rural development.
The syndicated loan will be for US $ 445 million and Standard Chartered Bank has already been appointed as the Lead Managers to the loan and they have already commenced raising the funds, top corporate sources told Ceylon FT yesterday.
These sources also said that JKH Group Chairman Susantha Ratnayake was expected to play a huge role in this project in terms of providing the leadership to the project in not only getting the requisite approvals but also countering other red tape, both political and operational.
Anticipated employment generation would be 3,000 at capacity out of which the majority will be skilled. The Project Company is M/s Waterfront Properties (Pvt) Ltd in which M/s John Keells Holdings PLC and/ its subsidiaries will be the majority investors.
The project is approved under the Strategic Development Projects Act No. 14 of 2008. The concessions granted for this project is similar to the other projects in tourism related. approved under SDP Act. Exemption of Corporate Income Tax is for a period of ten years In an earlier Colombo Stock Exchange filing, John Keells Holdings PLC said that JKH and its member company- Ceylon Cold Stores PLC have invested
Rs 5.3 billion and Rs 1.9 billion respectively in the new company, Waterfront Properties (Pvt) Ltd.
The total cost of the project is US$ 650 million to be invested within the period of 60 months and the project implementation period will be 60 months. Dividend Tax exemption will be during the tax exemption period and one year thereafter. Exemption of Value Added Tax will be as per the provisions of the present law within the project implementation period of five years.
Exemption of Port and Airport Development Levy (PAL) will be as per the provisions of the present law within the project implementation period of five years.
Exemption of Construction Industry Guarantee Fund Levy , for the contractors under the Finance Act No. 5 of 2005 in relation to the project.
The project company will be exempted from the deduction of Withholding Tax on payments on interest on foreign loans taken for capital expenditure and technical fees.
The project company will be exempted from the deduction of Withholding Tax on payment on management fees, royalty payments and marketing fees provided the fees are at three per centum (3%) of gross operating revenues by way of basic management fees / royalties, marketing fees at one point five per centum (1.5%) of gross operating revenue and at ten per centum (10%) of gross operating profits by way of incentive management fees.
Exemption of PAYE Tax will be for maximum number of 20 employees. This concession shall be applicable for a period of Five years.
Exemptions from Exchange Control Regulations : The project company will be exempted from the provisions of Part, I, IA, II, III, IV, V and VI of the Exchange Control Act and this exemption will be solely applicable to the approved business activity of the project.
The project company is entitled to open and operate a Foreign Currency Banking Unit (FCBU) in any commercial Bank of Sri Lanka for the purpose of the project.
Other Applicable Taxes, Levies and Fees: The project company is liable to pay all other applicable taxes, fees and levies applicable under the normal laws of the country.
The company shall be required to comply with the following conditions: The effective date of the project implementation period will be from the effective date of the BOI Agreement. With regard to employment, prevailing Labour Laws of the country will be applicable.
The environmental and other clearances under the provisions of the relevant authorities have to operate the project within the premises subject to compliance of environmental regulations.